Author Archives: Joshua Prince, Esq.

About Joshua Prince, Esq.

With our 2nd Amendment rights being attacked at both the Federal and State level, and the ATF (Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) trying to close down FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees) for minor infractions while making FFLs the scapegoat when the ATF's records are inaccurate, I want to taking this opportunity to introduce myself. I am one of only a handful of attorneys across the US that practices in the niche area of law known as firearms law. I decided to concentrate my legal practice on firearms law not only because I am a shooter and firearms enthusiast, but also to ensure that our inalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms is never encroached upon. I handle cases at the Federal and State level for both FFLs and individuals. At the federal and state levels for individuals, I actively defend the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and Section 21 of the PA Constitution, as well as, help individuals with: - License to Carry Firearms Denials; - Challenges to Erroneous PICS Denials; - Relief from Firearms Disabilities; - Estate Planning Advice; - Gun/NFA Trusts; and - 42 USC 1983 Actions for Deprivation of Civil Rights At both the state and federal levels, I represent FFLs and SOTs throughout Pennsylvania and the US regarding: - ATF Compliance Inspections; - Warning Letters and Hearings; - FFL Revocations; - Corporate Structure Advice - Indoor/Outdoor Range Implementation; and - Forfeiture Proceedings In following my love for firearms and firearms law, I have taught several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars on Firearms in Estates and Trusts and Firearms Law 101 for several Bar Associations, including Berks, Cumberland, and Dauphin Counties. I also planned and taught several Firearms in Estates CLE classes for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI). While at Widener Law School, I was a member of the Widener Law Journal. I wrote an article on the Inaccuracy of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). I also had an article published on Fee Disputes in Workers Compensation cases in the Widener Law Journal, Volume 18, No. 2. You can often find me posting on several internet forums, including Subguns, Uzitalk, AR15, and PAFOA. I also hold PA Firearms Law classes for local ranges to inform the public on the firearm laws of the Commonwealth. Following in my father's footsteps, I am also a Board member for the Pottstown Police Athletic League (PAL).

Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Adam Kraut Testify Before the PA House Judiciary Committee

Today, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince and Attorney Adam Kraut of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., jointly testified before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee regarding a number of anti-Second Amendment and anti-Article 1, Section 21 proposals that were previously discussed during the 6 day hearings on “public safety.” As specified in Exhibit H to the Joint Testimony, there are significant constitutional issues with these proposals, under the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, and several of the proposals seek to discriminate against the Amish, as a result of their closely-held religious beliefs. Live streaming will be available at RonMarsico.com, and PAHouseGOP.com

Please join us in thanking Attorneys Prince and Kraut for the monumental amount of time expended in the researching and drafting of their joint testimony. As many have inquired about donating to support the time expended, anyone wishing to donate can:

  • Pay via the secure website: Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. – Please place “House Judiciary Testimony” in the reference field, or
  • Mail donations to: Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., 646 Lenape Rd, Bechtelsville, PA 19505 and include a note or letter stating that it is in relation to House Judiciary Testimony”.

Together, we can ensure that our inalienable rights are never encroached upon!

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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PA Governor Wolf and Republican Members of the General Assembly Seek to Preclude the Amish from Obtaining Guns and Ammunition

Several months ago, a number of bills were submitted by Members of the General Assembly, seeking to prohibit the private transfer of rifles and shotguns – thereby, requiring that all transfers or purchases of any type of firearm, go through a Federal Firearms Licensee – and more recently, Governor Wolf called upon the General Assembly to pass the legislation, which, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, would absolutely preclude the Amish from obtaining any type of firearm, due to their closely-held religious convictions, which preclude their picture being taken.

Specifically, House Bill 1400, offered by Representative James Santora (R) with 73 sponsors, and House Bill 2249, offered by Representative Thomas Murt (R) with 17 sponsors, seek to preclude the private party sale of a rifle or shotgun, while House Bill 2251, offered by Representative Thomas Murt (R) with 8 sponsors, seeks to preclude the  purchase of ammunition, except from a Federal Firearm Licensee or gun range and only after a background check is performed. Of course, as there is no way for an entity, absent a Federal Firearms License, to perform a background check, this means that the inclusion of gun range is dubious, as it will have to have a Federal Firearms License to perform the background check.

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1)(C), a Federal Firearm Licensee is barred from selling or transferring a firearm to an individual, unless the individual can produce a “valid identification document (as defined in section 1028(d) of this title) of the transferee containing a photograph of the transferee.”

Due to Pennsylvania having the second largest Amish population in the U.S. and the Amish’s closely-held religious beliefs, pursuant to Exodus 20:4, that preclude the taking of their photograph, the General Assembly, being acutely aware of the federal requirement that an individual produce photo-identification when purchasing a firearm from a federal firearms licensee, not only provided an exemption for private party sales of rifles and shotguns in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111, but also, exempted those members with closely-held religious beliefs from the photo ID requirement under state law and even provided for photo-less driver licenses and licenses to carry firearms. See, 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(b)(2), 67 Pa.Code § 73.3(d)(4), and 37 Pa.Code 33.102.

However, if H.B. 1400 and H.B. 2249 are enacted, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1, et seq., the Amish will be precluded from purchasing or having any form of firearm transferred to them, because they will have to obtain the firearm through a Federal Firearms Licensee, which will require that they produce photo-identification. Similarly, issue are likely to arise in relation to HB 2251, as it mandates that a background check be performed, which means that the entity will have to be a Federal Firearms Licensee. Moreover, a search/query of the NICS database would be an abuse of the NICS system, as federal law does not require a background check for the purchase of ammunition and NICS can only be searched/queried for lawful purposes permitted by federal law.

It is truly sad to see Members of our General Assembly seeking to discriminate against those with closely-held religious convictions. Please take some time out of your day to contact your State Legislators and let them know that you oppose these bills and any other bills that seek to discriminate against those with closely-held religious beliefs.

If you or someone you know has been precluded from obtaining firearms or ammunition as a result of your closely-held religious convictions, contact FICG today to discuss your options.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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Trump to Alleviate ITAR Obligations for Firearm and Ammunition Manufacturers and Gunsmiths

As our readers are aware, for almost a decade, I have blogged about the obligation of firearm and ammunition manufacturers to register with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), as well as, DDTC’s stepped up enforcement against Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) starting in 2012. More recently, the DDTC issued guidance, which placed many gunsmiths out of business because it declared that most gunsmithing activities constituted manufacturing, which in turn required registration at a cost of $2,250, per year, in addition to the compliance costs. After years of requests that firearms and ammunition under Categories I, II and III of the U.S. Munitions List be moved over under the Department of Commerce, today the Department of State has published on its website proposed regulatory changes, which will afford a 45 day comment period, once formally published in the Federal Register. While the proposed changes are monumental, as described below, there are concerns regarding the proposed regulatory changes, which necessitate that those effected obtain competent counsel to timely file comments for DDTC’s consideration. DDTC.jpg

The 42 page proposal provides significant changes in that non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms and ammunition, as well as parts and defense services related thereto, that are currently regulated by Category I, II or III of the U.S. Munitions List will be moved over to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which are administered by the Department of Commerce and where there does not exist a registration requirement for the mere manufacture of controlled items, nor is there an annual fee (however, licensing requirements for exports will remain but under EAR). However, fully automatic firearms and ammunition for linked or beltfed firearms will remain under ITAR.

While the proposal is extremely beneficial for many FFLs and it is not surprising that fully automatic firearms are remaining under ITAR, for some unknown reason, silencers, all silencer parts and defense services related thereto, will will remain under ITAR (however, flash suppressors will be moved over under EAR). Additionally, magazine manufacturers that manufacture magazines that have a capacity in excess of 50 rounds must also continue to register under ITAR. This places a monumental burden on small and mid-sized silencer and magazine manufacturers, especially when one considers the compliance requirements and costs, beyond the yearly registration cost of $2,250.

If you or your company wants to file a comment requesting that DDTC consider moving silencers, large capacity magazines, or other items over under EAR, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG) to discuss your options, as FICG has a number of attorneys with the necessary experience and understanding of the issues surrounding Administrative Law, the Gun Control Act, the National Firearms Act, and the Arms Export Control Act to ensure that any comment is properly and thorough prepared.

For those interested in some of the comments that FICG has drafted and filed on behalf of Industry Members and itself in opposition to rulemaking by ATF, see:

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF – 41P – ATF’s proposed (and later enacted) rule to impose additional burdens on fictitious entity applications.

FICG Files Comment on behalf of David Goldman, Esq. of GunTrustLawyer.com in Opposition to ATF-41P

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF 51P – ATF’s proposed rule to ATF’s to amend the definitions of “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution.”

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF 29P on Behalf of Dead Air Armament – ATF’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding silencer engravings.

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF’s Proposed Changes to the 4473 Form

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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Lehigh Co District Attorney Martin’s Political Grandstanding Attempt to Limit Firearm Rights

On May 9, 2018, Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin issued his Report and Appendix on Pennsylvania State Trooper Bird’s justified use of force against an armed assailant in a Walmart parking lot. In both the Report and Appendix, it mentions on numerous occasions that the firearm utilized was previously a 80% frame – seemingly unaware that all firearms, at some point in the manufacturing process, are 80% complete. More disconcerting, DA Martin states that he will contact “Federal and State Legislators in the hope that corrective legislation may be promulgated” as this is a “a serious ‘loophole’ that should be closed by legislation at both the federal and state levels.” More specifically, he intends to call upon Federal and State Legislators to require 4473s and background checks on individuals, who wish to purchase firearm parts,  as such would “not seem to [him] to be too burdensome.”

But was an 80% frame, manufactured by the suspect – Aaron Ibrahem – and later utilized by him in this incident? Or is there far more to the story? The Report and Appendix suggest that there is far more to the story and that DA Martin is using this opportunity for political grandstanding.

In turning to the last paragraph on page 5 and onto page 6 of the Report, several statements stand out to me.

The pistol which had been removed from Ibrahem’s lap by Trooper DelGaizo was later identified as a Polymer80, model: PF940V2, caliber: .40 S&W. This particular model is sold as a frame that is 80% complete in its manufacturing. The area that holds the fire control mechanisms is completely solid and does not qualify as a firearm under the definition of a firearm according to the BATF….[it] can be purchased without a background check or ATF E-Form 4473 being completed and filed at time of purchase.

This part is legally correct. Now, here’s where it gets interesting –

An E-Trace revealed that the firearm had been sold in Texas on March 20, 2018. The investigation revealed that the buyer had only purchased the lower polymer portion (the “frame” or “receiver”) of a Glock, without the upper portion and/or any trigger parts. (emphasis added)

Hold up, if this item was not a firearm at the time of purchase, an E-Trace would not yield any result, as the item would not constitute a firearm and it would be improper for an FFL to maintain any record or perform a background check in relation to a non-firearm. Thus, as of the time of sale in March of 2018, to an unknown buyer, the gun was a firearm and not an 80% frame. (I note that the incident with Trooper Bird occurred on March 28, 2018 and I question whether the date specified should reflect March 20, 2017 or whether the firearm made it from Texas to Pennsylvania and into the possession of Ibrahem in under 8 days).

And then it gets more interesting –

The purchase had been made from Spokane Archery in Washington State. The buyer had filled out an ATF E-Form 4473, as required, for the lower receiver.

Huh? The prior sentence said the firearm was sold in Texas, now it was sold in Washington State (it may be that the use of the word “sold” in the prior portion was actually intended to mean “transferred” whereby, the money to purchase the firearm was sent to Spokane Archery in Washington State and upon receipt, the firearm was sent to the FFL in Texas for transfer – however, the mention in the following sentence of a 4473 seemingly being complete by Spokane Archery makes this interpretation questionable). Regardless, we know that a 4473 was filled out “as required” because the frame was a firearm, not an 80% frame; thus, it was a firearm at the time that the suspect obtained it – a suspect who was already prohibited under 18 U.S.C 922(g) from receiving it and the person who transferred/sold it to the suspect was prohibited from such by 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5), and (d).

Let’s see if the Appendix can shed any light on the above.

The investigation revealed that only the lower polymer portion of the Glock, without the upper and any trigger parts, was purchased from Spokane Archery in Washington State by a person from Texas. This purchase was legal because the ATF E-Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) had been submitted. That portion of the Glock purchased legally, is referred to as the “frame,” or the “lower receiver” of the firearm.

So once again, it confirms that the item purchased by an unidentified person, who was not the suspect, was a firearm as a 4473 had been completed and submitted. This is the first time that the word “submitted” is used in relation to the 4473 (in the Report, it only states that it was filled out) and it is important, as we now know that the background check was performed on the unidentified purchaser. However, the Appendix then declares that “It is believed that [Ibrahem] then ‘manufactured’ a firearm by obtaining the lower portion (frame/receiver) of the weapon by purchasing a so-called ‘Polymer 80″‘on the Internet.”

Huh? Both the Report and Appendix establish that Ibrahem did NOT purchase a 80% frame but rather purchased/obtained a firearm, in violation of the law. Section 922(g) specifies those individual, who are prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition and there is no dispute that Ibrahem was prohibited. Further, Section 922(d) precluded the seller from selling/transferring the firearm (and potentially the ammunition) to Ibrahem. As the firearm constituted a firearm and Ibrahem and the seller lived in different states, the seller was also prohibited from selling/transferring the firearm (and potentially the ammunition) to Ibrahem, per Section 922(a)(5).

While acknowledging that the seller and Ibrahem violated Federal and State law without concern, DA Martin is now calling upon Federal and State Legislators to further restrict law-abiding individuals’ rights. If only laws existed against murder, it wouldn’t happen, right?

 

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Attorney Joshua Prince to Testify before the PA House Judiciary Committee

Chief Counsel Joshua Prince of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., has been requested to testify before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee on May 22, 2018, regarding the anti-Second Amendment proposals that are pending before it, which we previously blogged about in our article – Pennsylvania Firearm Rights in the Crosshairs – The Rights That Stand to be Infringed.

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Prince Testimony House Judiciary

As it is anticipated that Chief Counsel Prince will spend more than 30 hours preparing his testimony in response to the almost 20 anti-Second Amendment bills that are pending, any donations in support would be greatly appreciated. Anyone wishing to donate can:

  • Pay via the secure website: Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. – Please place “House Judiciary Testimony” in the reference field, or
  • Mail donations to: Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., 646 Lenape Rd, Bechtelsville, PA 19505 and include a note or letter stating that it is in relation to House Judiciary Testimony”.

Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

 

 

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FICG On Behalf of FOAC Files Letter In Response To Jenks Township’s Proposed Illegal Firearm Ordinance

Today, it was reported by ExploreClarion.com that Jenks Township was considering enacting an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the township.

 

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As a result, Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®), a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., on behalf of its client, Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC), filed a letter in opposition to the proposal; wherein, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince explains the constitutional and statutory protections and case law precluding such regulation. In the event Jenks Township moves forward with the proposal, FOAC is prepared to file a legal challenge against the Township and request the District Attorney to file criminal charges for violations of Section 6120.

If you would like to donate to support this matter, Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. would greatly appreciate donations, which can be made online through the Firm’s escrow account here – https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/civilrightsdefensefirm/trust. Simply place FOAC v. Jenks Township  in the reference box.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of an unlawful municipal firearm or ammunition regulation or ordinance, contact FICG today to discuss your options.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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Pennsylvania Firearm Rights in the Crosshairs – The Rights That Stand to be Infringed

Starting this week, at the direction of Chairman Ron Marisco, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee held week-long “Public Safety – gun laws and violence” hearings regarding numerous pending firearms-related bills, which seek to restrict firearm rights in Pennsylvania in every regard from outright banning all semi-automatic firearms and high capacity magazines to banning any part that “accelerates the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearm[s].” More disconcerting than Chairman Marisco’s scheduling of these hearings is the fact that seemingly in violation of Article 1, Section 20 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, even though he acknowledges that they are “public hearings,” he specifically precluded interested parties in testifying regarding these bills and stated to Bobby Lawrence (former US Senate Candidate) that if others want a voice then let them do it through e-mails to legislators or by Letters to the Editor.

As reflected below, the General Assembly does not have the first clue about the interplay between the state and federal firearm laws or the existing firearm laws here in Pennsylvania and federally. Nor do many of the Members have any respect for the State or U.S. Constitution. It is for these reasons that testimony is absolutely necessary from interested parties.

Thus, as explained below and as a result of Chairman Marisco’s statement and preclusion of interested parties being afforded to testify, it is imperative that you not only contact your state representative and senator, but additionally contact Chairman Marisco and all other members of the House Judiciary Committee regarding your opposition to any infringement of your constitutional rights. (The contact information for the House Judiciary Members is at the bottom of this article and I would encourage everyone to FAX any respectful correspondences on these issues to your representatives and the member of the House Judiciary Committee and then call to confirm their receipt of your fax, since some Members are contending that they have not received ANY correspondences in opposition to these bills). More importantly, it is imperative that you let your voice be heard, regardless of these Members’ political affiliation, as many of this anti-Article 1, Section 21 and Second Amendment bills are being proposed by alleged Republicans)

For those interested in the transcripts and video/audio from the PA Legislative Services (PLS) in relation to these hearings (as the Committee has failed, without explanation, to post the formal transcripts – also be aware, as it doesn’t appear that the videos are compressed, it may take a while to download them):

  1. Transcript and video from hearing on Monday, April 9th, at 11 AM, Room 140 – Main Capitol;
  2. Transcript and video from hearing on Tuesday, April 10th at 10 AM, Room 140 – Main Capitol;
  3. Transcript and video from hearing on Wednesday, April 11th at 10 AM, Room 140 – Main Capitol;
  4. Transcript and video from hearing on Monday, April 16th at 10:30 AM, Room 205 – Ryan Office;
  5. Transcript and video from hearing on Tuesday, April 17th at 9:30 AM, Room 140 – Main Capitol;
  6. Transcript and video from hearing on Wednesday, April 18th at 9:00 AM, Room 205 – Ryan Office.

From the transcripts and videos, you will see that they are discussing SB 17, SB 18, SB 383, SB 501, HB 175, HB 671, HB 832, HB 870, HB 1233, HB 1400, HB 1872, HB 2060, HB 2097, HB 2109HB 2149, HB 2150, and  HB 2216.

HB 1872

House Bill 1872, sponsored by Representatives Madeleine Dean (D) and Dom Costa (D), seeks to “Ban Rapid Fire or ‘Multiburst Trigger Activators’ in Pennsylvania.” The text can be found here. This bill seeks to change 18 Pa.C.S. § 908 – Prohibited Offensive Weapons to include “possession of an accelerated trigger activator purchased or otherwise obtained by the defendant prior to the effective date of this paragraph.” It then goes on to define “accelerate trigger activator” as a “part or combination of parts designed and intended to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm to simulate the rate of fire of a machinegun”

First and foremost, the sponsors apparently are completely unaware of numerous applicable U.S. and State constitutional provisions that result in this proposal being unconstitutional. As held by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically protects military weapons, which is inclusive of machineguns. Although there is no equivalent decision under Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, unlike its federal counterpart, the PA Constitution declares that “[t]he right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned,” which is then acknowledged to be an inalienable right by Article 1, Section 25, which provides that “[t]o guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate.” (emphasis added).

Even if Article 1, Section 21 and the Second Amendment were not applicable, this proposal is unconstitutional under the ex post facto law provisions of Article 1, Section 17 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution. It would also constitute an unlawful taking, without just compensation, under Article 1, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Didn’t these Members of the General Assembly take an oath to uphold the State and U.S. Constitutions? I am pretty sure they did, as such is specifically required by Article VI, Section 3, which declares:

Senators, Representatives and all judicial, State and county officers shall, before entering on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation before a person authorized to administer oaths.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.”

The oath or affirmation shall be administered to a member of the Senate or to a member of the House of Representatives in the hall of the House to which he shall have been elected.

Any person refusing to take the oath or affirmation shall forfeit his office.

What about making thousands of law-abiding individuals in Pennsylvania, overnight, into criminals, by their mere possession of these devices, without any means or opportunity to dispose of them? By the way, in case you were unaware, a violation of Section 908 is a misdemeanor of the first degree, which will result in the person being prohibited, in perpetuity, from purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(g)(1) – but that’s inconsequential, because we need to do something to solve a non-existent problem, right? While the sponsors and the media would have you believe that bump stocks were utilized in the horrific Las Vegas shooting, the Preliminary Investigative Report of shooting, although listing several bump stocks as having been recovered, does not list them as having been utilized in the attack.

Setting the constitutional issues aside, the sponsors lack an engineering understanding that the cyclic rate of a firearm is determined not by how fast or slow a particular person or device can cause the firearm to cycle but rather based on the fastest speed at which the firearm can operate. As reflected in this video, Jerry Miculek can out-shoot a bump stock and is FAR more accurate. Does that mean that Jerry Miculek will be automatically imprisoned if he steps foot in Pennsylvania? What about competition triggers? Are they to be included in this?

 

SB 17

Senate Bill 17, sponsored by Wayne Fontana (D), seeks to ban, with limited exceptions, semi-automatic firearms, including HANDGUNS and shotguns, and large capacity magazines and institute a registry of semi-automatic firearms. The text can be found here. This bill would require an individual owning a semi-automatic firearm to obtain a “certificate of possession” from the Pennsylvania State Police and then an individual who is granted a certificate of possession is limited to the locations where he/she may possess the semi-automatic rifle. Better yet, the Pennsylvania State Police could deny you because of your “character and reputation,” which is not defined. Also, you will be charged a fee of $15, per firearm, every four years. Moreover, there is no grandfathering provision in relation to large capacity magazines and turns law-abiding individuals into criminals overnight. Of interesting note, since this is being offered as a result of the Parkland shooter, we now know that the Parkland shooter did NOT use large capacity magazines.

 

SB 18

Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Wayne Fontana (D), seeks to provide for “extreme risk orders,” where in ex parte hearings (i.e. in the absence of due process) an individual can be stripped of their constitutional right to Keep and Bear Arms. The text can be found here. Better yet, it even provides immunity to the person seeking an extreme risk order, even if there were purposeful omissions or misstatements in the petition!

 

HB 2216

House Bill 2216, sponsored by Warren Kampf (R), seeks to ban any devices that can “accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm” and “large capacity ammunition magazines” which is defined as any magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds or 5 shotgun shells. The text can be found here. Once again, apparently Representative Kampf has no understanding of the State or Federal Constitution and would, overnight, turn law-abiding individuals into criminals, as it fails to grandfather pre-existing large capacity magazines and fails to provide any means or opportunity to dispose of them.

 

HB 2251

House Bill 2251, sponsored by Thomas Murt (R), seeks to, inter alia, define “ammunition,” “gun ranges” and  “other weapons,” prohibit prohibited person from possessing or manufacturing ammunition (even though 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) already prohibits such), then requires background checks on the purchase of all ammunition – including from a gun range (which may not have an FFL and would therefore be precluded from performing a background check) – precludes any purchase of ammunition that does not occur face-to-face and precludes individuals from purchasing ammunition in another state and then bringing it into Pennsylvania, without it going through an FFL. The text can be found here.

 

HB 1233

House Bill 1233, sponsored by Thomas Murt (R), seeks to monumentally revise Pennsylvania’s Mental Health and Procedures Act, permitting far more individuals to constitute “qualified professionals,” makes it much easier for an individual to be committed under Sections 302 and 303, and fails to address the unconstitutionality of Section 302 (i.e. as held by Judge Kim Gibson of the Federal District Court for Western District of Pennsylvania, a Section 302 commitment lacks any form of due process). The text can be found here.

 

HB 1400 and HB 2249

House Bill 1400, sponsored by James Santora (R), and House Bill 2249, sponsored by Thomas Murt (R), seeks to preclude private party sales and references them, erroneously, as a “gun show loophole.” The text can be found here for HB 1400 and here for HB 2249. While it putatively provides an exception, where the individual purchased a firearm from the same dealer within 48 hours, the language requires the person to produce a copy of a record/application of sale form, which is only utilized when the individual purchases a firearm under the definition provided by Section 6102 (i.e. generally speaking, a handgun). Thus, if an individual purchased a rifle from the same dealer, the exception would not apply, as the purchaser would be unable to produce a record/application of sale form.

 

HB 832

House Bill 832, sponsored by Madeleine Dean (D), seeks to re-victimize those who have had a firearm stolen, by criminalizing their failure to report, within 72 hours, their victimization. The text can be found here. In what other context would anyone ever consider criminalizing the failure of a victim of crime to report that crime?

 

HB 2109

House Bill 2109, sponsored by Stephen McCarter (D), seeks to permit firearm restraining orders, which permits the assessment of fees and costs against the subject of an issue firearm restraining order, as well as, ex parte orders, in violation of all tenants of due process. The 52 pages of text can be found here.

 

HB 2252

House Bill 2252, sponsored by Thomas Murt (R), seeks to duplicate the existing mental prohibition (see 18 U.S.C. 924(g)(4) and 18 PA.C.S. 6105(c)(4)) for those who are involuntarily committed to outpatient treatment. The text can be found here.

 

HB 2097

House Bill 2097, sponsored by Jason Dawkins (D), seeks to prohibit anyone who is merely arrested for or charged with a putative domestic violence offense, in the absence of due process, from possessing and purchasing firearms. The text can be found here. As everyone is aware, an individual who is subject to a Protection From Abuse Order or is convicted of a domestic violence offense is already prohibited under state and federal law (see, 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105(a.1)(2), (c)(6), (c)(9); 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(8), (9)) Worse yet, reflecting the absence of any consideration in the drafting of this bill, it provides that any such prohibition would apply, for example, in a situation where one criminally trespasses on the property of or steals money or other object from an intimate partner.

 

SB 501 and HB 2060

House Bill 2060, sponsored by Representative Marguerite Quinn (R), and Senate Bill 501, sponsored by Senator Thomas Killon (R), are another solution in search of a problem, seeks to require an individual who is prohibited as a result of a domestic violence conviction or Protection from Abuse Order to turn in his/her firearms and ammunition, even though 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(8) already requires such. The text can be found here for HB 2060 and here for SB 501. Moreover, the requirement to turn over one’s firearms would be restricted to either a law enforcement department or a dealer, even though the current law additionally provides for third-party safekeeping permits and CeaseFirePA has been unable to show a single occasion where an individual gained access to firearms from a third-party safekeeper. Oh yeah, they also fail to mention that if an individual who holds a safekeeping permit permits access to the firearms by the prohibited person, it is already a misdemeanor of the first degree, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(a.1)(5); whereby, once again, under 18 U.S.C. § 921(g)(1), the individual will be barred, in perpetuity, from possessing and purchasing firearms and ammunition.

For the icing on the cake, it also provides that any firearm turned into the police would be considered “abandoned” after a year. I especially like the absurdity of the search of the “database of firearm sales,” when 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.4 specifically prohibits the maintenance of any registry of firearms and when the sales database is only related to handguns. Better yet, it permits, in violation of due process and the takings provisions, for the entity that has possession of the firearm(s) to sell them and retain the proceeds.

 

HB 870 and SB 383

House Bill 870, sponsored by Representative Cris Dush (R), and Senate Bill 383, sponsored by Senator Donald White, seeks to permit armed school personnel (which I am in favor of) but both fail to address the issues I previously raised here and here to SB 383. The text can be found here for HB 870 and here for SB 383. I have written an extensive amendment for SB 383 or HB 870, which would address all of the relevant concerns, and am waiting for it to be offered.

 

As emails can be easily deleted without the recipient reviewing them and numerous Members have stated that they have not received any correspondences in opposition to these bills, I am imploring you to FAX any respectful correspondences to your Representative and House Judiciary Members, and then follow up via phone call to ensure that they all received your correspondence. If you wish to additionally send a copy via email, their respective email addresses are listed below.

The House Judiciary Members are:

  1. Chairman Ron Marsico – (717) 783-2014, Fax: (717) 705-2010 RMarsico@pahousegop.com;
  2. Democratic Chair Joseph Petrarca – (717) 787-5142, Fax: (717) 705-2014 JPetrarc@pahouse.net;
  3. Tarah Toohil – (570) 453-1344, Fax: (570) 459-3946 TToohil@pahousegop.com;
  4. Stephen Bloom – (717) 772-2280, Fax: (717) 705-2012 SBloom@pahousegop.com;
  5. Becky Corbin – (717) 783-2520, Fax: (717) 782-2927 BCorbin@pahousegop.com;
  6. Sheryl Delozier – (717) 783-5282, Fax: (717) 772-9994 SDelozie@pahousegop.com;
  7. Harold English – (717) 260-6407, Fax: (717) 783-5740 HEnglish@pahousegop.com;
  8. Garth Everett – (717) 787-5270, Fax: (717) 772-9958 GEverett@pahousegop.com;
  9. Barry Jozwiak – (717) 772-9940, Fax: (717) 782-2925 BJozwiak@pahousegop.com;
  10. Kate Klunk – (717) 787-4790, Fax: (717) 782-2952 KKlunk@pahousegop.com;
  11. Jerry Knowles – (717) 787-9029, Fax: (717) 782-2908 JKnowles@pahousegop.com;
  12. Tedd Nesbit – (717) 783-6438, Fax: (717) 782-2943 TNesbit@pahousegop.com;
  13. Rick Saccone – (717) 260-6122, Fax: (717) 787-9174 RSaccone@pahousegop.com;
  14. Paul Schemel – (717) 263-1053, Fax: (717) 263-1059 PSchemel@pahousegop.com;
  15. Todd Stephens – (717) 260-6163, Fax: (717) 782-2898 TStephen@pahousegop.com;
  16. Jesse Topper – (717) 787-7076, Fax: (717) 782-2933 JTopper@pahousegop.com;
  17. Martina White – (717) 787-6740, Fax: (717) 782-2929 MWhite@pahousegop.com;
  18. Bryan Barbin – (814) 487-4041, Fax: (814) 487-4043 BBarbin@pahouse.net;
  19. Ryan Bizzarro – (717) 772-2297, Fax: (717) 780-4767 RBizzarro@pahouse.net;
  20. Tim Briggs – (717) 705-7011, Fax: (717) 772-9860  TBriggs@pahouse.net;
  21. Dom Costa – (717) 783-9114, Fax: (717) 780-4761 DCosta@pahouse.net;
  22. Tina Davis – (717) 783-4903, Fax: (717) 783-0682 TDavis@pahouse.net;
  23. Jason Dawkins – (717) 787-1354, Fax: (717) 780-4789 JDawkins@pahouse.net;
  24. Madeleine Dean – (717) 783-7619, Fax: (717) 780-4754 MDean@pahouse.net;
  25. Joanna McClinton – (717) 772-9850, Fax: (717) 783-1516 JMcClinton@pahouse.net;
  26. Dan Miller – (717) 783-1850, Fax: (717) 780-4756 DMiller@pahouse.net;
  27. Gerald Mullery – 570) 636-3500, Fax: (570) 636-3502 GMullery@pahouse.net.

 

If you or someone you know has had their right to Keep and Bear Arms infringed, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

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